The UEFA Euro championship is a quadrennial football tournament going back to 1960. The tournament is contested by senior men’s national teams of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) members and determines the champions of Europe. However, the 2020 tournament couldn’t go ahead as planned because of the raging coronavirus pandemic in the world.
When Does Euro 2021 Start?
Initially set to take place from June 12 to July 12, 2020, the 16th EUFA Euro flagship tournament had to be postponed due to the threat of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The delayed competition is upon us now. After being pushed back one year, UEFA Euro 2021 gets underway from June 11 and ends on July 11, 2021.
Who Are The Euro 2021 Hosts?
For the first time in the competition’s six-decade history, the tournament will be held across the continent. Euro 2021 will take place in 11 cities (originally 12) across Europe to celebrate the tournament’s 60th anniversary. This idea was conceived long before the Covid-19 outbreak, but the highly anticipated 2021 tournament is set to go ahead as planned with only a few minor changes. So, which are the 11 European cities that will be hosting the competition?
Each of the following cities will host three group matches and one round of 16 games:
- Seville, Spain: Stadium La Cartuja Sevilla
- Glasgow, Scotland: Hampden Park
- Copenhagen, Denmark: Parken Stadium
- Budapest, Hungary: Puskás Aréna
- Bucharest, Romania: National Arena Bucharest
- Amsterdam, Netherlands: Johan Cruijff Arena
Each of the following cities will host three group games and one quarter-final game:
- Rome, Italy: Olimpico in Rome
- Munich, Germany: Football Arena Munich
- Baku, Azerbaijan: Baku Olympic Stadium
Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia, will host six group games and one quarter-final match. Wembley Stadium in London, England, will host three group stage matches, two rounds of 16 games, and the final and semi-finals of the Euro 2021 tournament. The opening match of the tournament, between Italy and Turkey, will take place at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on June 11.
Euro 2021 Qualification
Traditionally, all teams except the host nations (which qualify automatically) compete in a qualifying process before entering the tournament. But since there was no single host for the 2020 tournament, there was no automatic qualification. All the host countries had to battle it out with the rest of the UEFA members for a chance to be crowned the European champions on Sunday, July 11.
Euro 2021 Tournament Teams
All of Europe’s elite national teams, including former winners Germany (3x), Spain (3x), France (2x), and Russia (as the Soviet Union), Italy, Czech Republic (as Czechoslovakia), Netherlands, Denmark, and Portugal who’ve won one Euro title each all qualified for the 2021 tournament. Other prominent names in the 2021 tournament include the 2018 world cup finalists Croatia, England, Belgium, Sweden, Turkey, and Switzerland.
The Euro 2021 Format
There have been no significant changes to the Euro 2021 format. Everything is pretty the same as the previous tournament that took place in 2016. The competition will have 24 participating teams. The best two nations in each group will advance to the round of 16, and they will be accompanied by the four best third-placed teams of the six groups.
Will Fans Be Allowed Into The Stadiums?
According to Europe’s football governing body, Euro 2021 matches will not be played in empty stadiums. UEFA requires that each host put on games with at least 25% capacity on the stands. Cities that were unable to meet these stipulations lost their hosting rights for the Euro 2021 competition. That’s why despite being in the initial group of cities chosen to host the tournament, Bilbao and Dublin will not be hosting any Euro 2021 matches.
How to Watch Euro 2021
Since no stadium will be putting Euro games on with total capacity, attending live Euro 2021 matches in person will be a hassle even for local fans. Things are much worse for international fans who can’t even travel due to Covid-19 restrictions. Luckily, you can watch Euro matches live on TV this summer on BBC and ITV. Football lovers in other parts of the world can stream Euro matches on Sling TV, Hulu, and YouTube TV.
Did you know that you can watch the Euros online on BBC and ITV even if you are not in the UK? All you need is a VPN(Virtual Private Network). Subscribe to a VPN service and use it to route your internet traffic through a UK server to change your apparent location to the United Kingdom. Sign up for BBC iPlayer or ITV to stream live Euro 2021 matches.
The UEFA Euro 2021 is one of the most anticipated events of the year. The 24-nation, month-long tournament, kicks off on June 11, 2021. Using a VPN, you can catch every minute of the football drama live, wherever you are in the world.